All About UK Visitor Visa

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uk visitor visa

A UK visitor visa is available to people who want to ‘visit’ the United Kingdom. The purpose of the visit can be tourism, business, or education for up to 6 months. The visa is granted for six months, with the possibility of an extension under exceptional circumstances. For example, to get medical treatment. The cost of this visa ranges from £115 to £963. Keep reading the following article to learn more about the UK visitor visa.

What is a UK Visitor Visa? 

The United Kingdom grants visitor visas to individuals who wish to visit the country. The following are the circumstances when a visitor visa is granted.

  • Leisure: Visitors traveling to the UK for leisure purposes can obtain a visitor visa valid for six months. For example, family visit, sightseeing, or general travel.
  • Business: Enter the UK for short-term business requirements. For example, events, conferences, and business meetings among others
  • Other reasons: A visitor visa may also be granted under exceptional circumstances. For example, medical treatment.

Standard Visitor Visa vs Long-term Standard Visitor visas

The United Kingdom issues standard visitor visas for tourism, voluntary work, business, and education purposes. However, this visa typically lasts only for 6 months. 

A long-term standard visitor visa is granted to individuals who visit the UK regularly. The duration of the visa is between 2-10 years. However, each time the applicant can stay in the UK only for 6 months. Moreover, applicants below the age of 18 will receive a long-term standard visa only for 6 months. No further extension on the visa will be available. 

Also Read: How to Get a UK Business Visa?

UK Visitor Visa: Do’s and Don’ts

The permitted activities and the non-permitted activities under the UK visa are as follows:

Permitted Activities Non Permitted Activities 
TourismDo paid or unpaid work for a UK company or as a self-employed person
Meeting family or friendsTo marry or register a civil partnership in the UK (a marriage visitor visa is required)
Volunteering for 30 days with a registered charityLive in the UK for long periods through frequent visits
Business activities such as attending an interview 
Taking part in a school exchange program
Going through the UK to another country (‘in transit’)
Taking up a recreational course for up to 30 days
Conduct placement, study, or take an examination
Medical reasons 

Eligibility Requirements

The following are the eligibility requirements for a UK visitor visa. A passport and other travel documents are a basic requirement. Other than this, the applicant must be able to demonstrate the following:

  • Must leave the UK at the end of their visit
  • Must have sufficient funds to take care of themselves and their dependents, and should also have a sponsor for the same
  • Must have sufficient funds to return to the home country, and also a sponsor to fund the same
  • Must not live in the UK for an extended period through frequent visits, or make the UK the permanent residence 
  • Must meet any other additional criteria as specified by the government of the UK

Also Read: A Comprehensive Guide to New Zealand Work Visa

Documentation Requirements

Below are the essential documentation requirements for a UK visitor visa.

  • A passport with a validity of at least 6 months or a travel document to provide the identity
  • Must have photographs and fingerprints taken 
  • Any other additional documentation required

UK Visitor Visa Fees

The fees for a UK visitor visa are as follows:

Particulars Maximum length of stayFees
Standard Visitor visa for medical reasons11 months£200
Standard Visitor visa6 months£115
Standard Visitor visa for academics12 months£200
2 year long-term Standard Visitor visa6 months per visit£400
10-year long-term Standard Visitor visa6 months per visit£963
5-year long-term Standard Visitor visa6 months per visit£771

Also Read: How to Apply for Visa?

Application Process

To apply for a UK visitor visa the applicant has to visit the official website of the UK government. Next, the application form needs to be filled out. This information has to be filled in the online application

  • the dates you’re planning to travel to the UK
  • current home address and how long you’ve lived there
  • Estimate of the trip cost 
  • parents’ names and dates of birth
  • Annual income of the applicant
  • Details of criminal record (if applicable)

Depending on their circumstances, applicants may be required to provide additional information. Some of the details that may be requested include:

  • 10 years of travel history
  • Employer’s address and telephone number
  • The name and address of anyone paying for your trip
  • Partner’s name, date of birth, and passport number
  • name, address, and passport number of any family members in the UK
  • TB test certificate

The decision regarding this visa application will be made within three weeks. The applicant will be notified of the decision via email or letter within the specified timeframe.


Is a UK tourist visa available now?

Applicants can apply for a UK tourist visa at the UK government’s visa center (India) or through the UK government’s official website. However, to receive such a visa the applicant must meet the eligibility criteria and must have relevant documentation.

How much bank balance is required for a UK visit visa?

Applicants must maintain a general bank balance of INR 2 lakh to INR 3 lakh to demonstrate their ability to cover their expenses.

How much is the UK visitor visa fee?

The UK standard visitor visa fee is £115. However, the visa fee can vary depending on the circumstances. For example, the Standard visitor visa for medical reasons is £200. Moreover, the fee for the UK long-term visitor visa fees is approximately £400 for 2 years.

We hope you now understand what a UK visitor visa is, its requirements, the application process, etc. Want to apply for a Visa for your study abroad journey? Drop us a comment in the section below, or you can connect with a visa expert at Leverage Edu, and we will guide you on your dream journey!

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